|Okay, does Anita think that plaid shirts are the only Nonsexist clothes she can wear?|
|Why bring this up if for 90% of the video you are talking about something completely different.|
After this she starts showing clips from racing games that also depict attractive women in close proximity with cars, of course being sexually suggestive with their poses. Much like the example with the ads, this montage of clips says nothing about the games themselves, since the games are depicting a representation of racing culture and as I'm sure most of the population knows that racing culture, and car culture in general, loves to have the latest models being draped by the latest models. Whether you think that practice is sexist or not is beside the point, if these games are depicting a particular real world culture, and that culture has a practice of attractive women next to fine cars, then for accuracy sake the game must also depict said practice. But what really gets me about this is that both the ads example and the racing games example are pretty much forgotten about for the rest of the video, and Anita dives headlong into a subject that seems to be less about video games and more about her view of Sex Workers, and how depicting sex workers in a game is sexist because Sex Work itself is sexist because making men aroused is........ wrong I guess.....
|According to Anita, we can't have Strippers... even if we are in a Strip Club.|
And that is pretty much what this ENTIRE video boils down to. Ms. Sarkeesian makes a statement that makes it sound like these characters are being objectified in some way and then lying by omission by neglecting to state that ALL NPCs, including male characters, have the same or similar limitation, role in the game, or the same acts done upon them by the Player. The only difference is that these characters are female sex workers who's only purpose in the game, according to Anita, is to arouse the heterosexual male audience of the game. Okay, a little slice of reality Anita, you may not know this, and I haven't experience this first hand mind you, but a female sex worker's main occupational duty is to arouse heterosexual male (or a homosexual female or a bisexual of either gender, what ever that particular worker preferences), so in the real world sex workers dress sexy-like and act provocative to attract customers, that's just how it works. So, to depict them in a video game requires that depiction to also dress sexy-like and act provocative as well. Regardless of your views on sex work, the point remains that if the game needs to depict sex workers as NPCs for either narrative or world-building purpose, then the game has to portray a realistic depiction of sex workers, even if said game takes place in a fictional setting (like The Witcher and Dragon Age).
|STOP! Don't buy from the Shopkeep! You're objectifying her!|
However, that isn't the dumbest thing she said in the entire video. No the dumbest thing she said was that "Since these women are just objects, there’s no need or reason for players to have any emotional engagement with them. Meaningful relationships or interactions are not even possible." Emotional engagement, with an NPC. Emotional Freakin' Engagement, with a character who's only purpose in the game is to populate it. Okay, I'm not against games that can engage the player on an emotional level, I'm all for that. Hell, I will admit there are times where I was completely engage with a game's characters so much that I start to regard them more as real people, the Persona and Fire Emblem franchises are prime examples of that. And I will readily admit that I cry every time I play through Labrys's story mode in Persona 4 Arena, and if I could I would totally hug Labrys and tell her everything will be fine. I love emotional engagement in video games... But I CAN'T get emotionally engaged with NPC who has at most two lines of dialogue and will walk endlessly on the same loop day in and day out. NPCs are not design to be what emotionally engages you, the main characters, the PLAYABLE characters, the supporting cast, the characters who are important to the story, THOSE are the characters you get emotionally attached to. NPCs are just extras that wander around in the background to populate the world. Seriously, did you get emotionally attached to that random pedestrian walking around New York while watching The Avengers? No? Then you will not be emotionally attached to any random NPC in a video game for the same reason.
|Seriously, if this story didn't make you cry, then you have no soul.|
And lastly before I leave, I'll make this revelation I had when going through Anita's video and that is that this video on "Tropes vs Women in VIDEO GAMES" has absolutely nothing to do with video games. This entire video is more about Anita Sarkeesian's view on sex workers than anything about gaming. And it's not even a "feminist" view of sex workers as there are two opposing sides within the feminist movement about sex called sex positive feminism and sex negative feminism. Sex negative feminism is the one Anita seemingly ascribes to, where all depictions of female sexuality is regarded as a byproduct of male domination in the past and thus to be truly free of the oppressive "patriarchy," women must forgo any and all manners of sexual expression used to arouse men (although no word about sexual expression used to arouse women though), while sex positive feminism believe that sexual expression is apart of human nature and that the degree a woman expresses her sexuality is up to that woman to decide. As such Anita's comments about sex work that she shared throughout the video has garnered a lot of ire from such sex worker who believe Ms. Sarkeesian's belief about their occupation is regressive and damaging to women who choose that career path. And of course her characterization of male gamers is also wholly inaccurate as I doubt any of us harbors any kind of desire to objectify any woman, let alone sex workers, because of the depiction of sex workers in a sub section of the games we play. Ironically, it seems the only person who view these characters as "Non Playable Sex Objects" is the same person who coined the term. Of course, anyone who has been critically watching Anita's videos probably saw that one coming.
Next time, something enjoyable to talk about, until then